The Ancient grease monkey

Jack Pledger (the Ancient Grease Monkey) is originally from Summerville, Georgia…a small rural community in the mountains of northwest Georgia. Jack enjoyed a 28-year career in the United States Air Force where he served as a pilot, instructor pilot, commander and systems program manager retiring in the rank of colonel.  He served in several flying unit command positions and was qualified in a number of aircraft including the T-37, T-38, FB-111A, KC-135R, and the B-1B.  He was the recipient of the several aviation awards including the Curtis E. LeMay Trophy, the Meyer Trophy, the Mathis Trophy and the Fairchild Trophy; he also received the 8th Air Force Golden Bomber Trophy as the 393rd Squadron Commander as the top bomb squadron in the 8th Air Force.  Jack organized a B-1B team and acomplished12 world records for time to climb.  As a systems program manager he was responsible for the initial C-17 flight systems program and later served as Director of Requirements at Air Mobility Command where he was responsible for the C-17 program’s operational acceptance and transition to production and was a member of the C-17 team awarded the Collier Trophy.

Jack joined Northrop Grumman in 1996 following his Air Force career where he served as Director of Business Development for Directed Infrared Countermeasures Systems and Program Manager for advanced IRCM systems development where he was responsible for the development of IR countermeasures systems for fast jet aircraft.  During this time Jack was responsible for expanding the Northrop Grumman Directional Infrared Countermeasures program to international allies as well as all four major US services resulting in the most successful expansion of the program since its inception.

Jack holds a bachelor of science degree and MBA.  He has also attended several professional and military schools including the Air War College, Industrial College of the Air Force, the Anderson School at UCLA Executive Management Program and the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business Executive Marketing Program.  He as published several articles and is co-author of Ethics in the Air Force.

Jack has been restoring cars for over 50 years and is pursuing the continued development of craftsmanship and restoration skills in retirement through associations with experts and apprenticeships.  He has established the Ancient Grease Garage in O’Fallon, IL and hopes to help young people interested in craftsmanship skills and automobile restoration.